Last week I stayed at The Lafayette Hotel in North Park on my way to photograph a wedding and it was the perfect place to stay in San Diego. The historic hotel has a great mix of vintage and modern decor and I had to make sure I captured it on film with a cute couple too, of course.
If you’re looking for an outdoor/ indoor space with a vintage, historic vibe for your wedding or engagement session, The Lafayette Hotel has the charm!
Hasselblad H1, Kodak Portra 400
It’s no secret that San Diego is a great place to get married. Sunny, beautiful, and you can pretty much count on the weather being 72 degrees Fahrenheit about 90% of the time. Of course San Diego has it’s bad days, otherwise known as May gray and June gloom, where you’re probably not going to see the sun near the cost for those months. But inland, pretty much sun and fun all the time. But where to get married in San Diego can be a bit daunting. So many options!
Being in San Diego and photographing weddings for the last four years I’ve accumulated a few favorite venues. Of course my preferences are for outdoor weddings where there’s plenty of natural light but I do have a few favorites that offer a different feel and options for your wedding day.
because posts are much better when there’s something pretty to look at… an image from an upcoming post
Side note: I’m not on any list of preferred vendors so I do not benefit in any way through my recommendations. These are just the venues that I have had experiences with and that I thought were great. I don’t know all the specifics for each venue so visiting their site or contacting them directly will be your best bet if you have any specific questions.
For each venue I’ll provide the direct link and on some I’ll provide a link to images if I shot there just so you have an idea what the venue looks like.
Outdoor/ Ranch Venues:
Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park– offers an outdoor area filled with desert plants, bougainvillea, and grass for your ceremony and reception along with cute adobe style houses to get ready and hang out with your wedding party. It has everything you need for your entire wedding.
Bandy Canyon Ranch– a very large property that offers a few different locations and looks for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. It even has cabins for friends and family to stay. There’s history here and I have weakness for old things with a story. Amazing venue!
Villa de Flores– has a beautiful, large grassy area that allows for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception to be within yards of each other for closeness and ease. It has a rustic, Italian, countryside vibe.
The Humphrey’s Estate– although not technically in San Diego, it’s about 50 minutes away but well worth the drive. It’s a large property and allows for different sections for your ceremony and reception. There’s so much you can do and places for photographs.
The Condor’s Nest Ranch– it’s ranchy, it’s funky, and it has a ton or options to customize your day. Located about 30 minutes from San Diego.
The Lafayette Hotel– super cute, funky, and dare I say a little hipster?, and with an amazing pool smack dab in the middle of it all. This is a quaint venue that offers closeness of your family and friends with the hotel rooms being a few feet away.
images coming soon
Urban/ Loft Venues:
Luce Loft– probably one of my favorite spaces. If I could live here I would! It’s definitely urban and you really get that downtown San Diego vibe. It’s rustic, it’s urban, and small enough to feel close to friends and family yet it offers enough space for sections or vignettes for lounging, drinking, and chatting.
Historical/ House Venues:
The Darlington House– located in La Jolla, it’s a large historical house that offers the choice of an indoor or outdoor wedding. I’d highly suggest outside but the light the comes into the house is almost as good as taking pictures in natural light. You can’t go wrong either way.
Old but goody Venues:
San Diego Courthouse– to me this is a classic elopement venue. Fun, historical, and you can create any look you’re going for with your wedding attire alone. Plus it’s close to many areas for bride and groom photos- there’s boats, downtown San Diego, the ocean, Old Town San Diego, and the list goes on.
Although not in San Diego at all but if you’re adventurous and want to experience another country, Mexico is 30 minutes away and can provide a fun and memorable wedding experience. A couple favorite wedding venues in Mexico are included below. I may have to do a separate post for Mexico and include a lot more amazing venues.
Cabanas Cuatro Cuatros– tented cabins, vineyards, two large boats that sit on land (you have to see it to understand the beauty and awe), a large row of olive trees for a rustic dinning area (think long tables under the olive tree with hanging lights!) and a ceremony site that offers a beautiful view of the pacific ocean… seriously the perfect place to get married!
images on The Venue Report
La Villa del Valle– the food alone will be worth the drive and this venue offers a gorgeous space for your entire wedding- a pool area, rustic dinning area where you can have hanging lights, a ceremony area overlooking the vineyards, and did I mention the food?!
images coming soon on The Venue Report
It was great to shoot Ashley & Andy’s Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park Wedding with my friend Katie. It was the perfect, sunny San Diego day filled with love, laughter, bougainvillea, and the sweetest couple ever.
shot on Contax 645 Kodak Portra 400 & Canon Mark II
I will be traveling to Arizona and then to Mexico and Brazil this summer and fall. If you or someone you know would like to book a session- lifestyle, portrait, or even a wedding, while I am there please contact me here or at harmonyloves at gmail dot com for more details and available dates.
Here are a few favorite links I love for this beautiful Friday.
1. Isn’t this about the truth!
2. It’s not a riveting novel but it’s about friendships, love, community, and my all time favorite subject, food. If you love cooking, getting together with friends and family or if you’re looking for an easy read, I highly recommend Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine book.
3. Lupita Nyong’o’s speech on beauty is beyond amazing! In this country where girls are complimented on their looks it’s easy to get caught up in those words and it’s easy to let those words define you… find what you’re good at, help your daughters discover what they’re good at and praise them on that so that they may develop another kind of beauty. And did y’all know Lupita was born in Mexico City?
4. I’m heading south this summer to Guadalajara and Tequila, Mexico and here are some of the beautiful haciendas and attractions I’ll be visiting- Hacienda El Carmen, Hacienda La Estancia, Casa Suaza Tequila distillery and agave fields, and maybe a food tour or two.
6. Do yourself a favor and make these Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies this weekend. And make sure to make the cornflake crunch yourself, you won’t regret the extra time. I promise you they are so good!
7. Hello sweet nectar of the gods! Nutella Milk!